Research Areas and Facilities
Computational and Theoretical Physics
Computational and theoretical studies focus on structural, electric and magnetic properties of molecules and solids and on underwater acoustics. Facilities include a computer enhanced classroom and advanced computer laboratory. Equipment includes a 20-node Beowulf cluster and several workstations.
Investigators: John Deisz, and Michael Roth
Holographic Characterization of Surfaces
Investigations focus on using holography as a tool for characterizing surface roughness and for character recognition. The well equipped laser and optics laboratory contains several vibration isolation tables, lasers, and spectrometers.
Investigator: Dale Olson
Low Dimensional and Complex Materials
The research concerns investigation into the electronic and structural characteristics of low dimensional and complex materials. These systems exhibit exotic phases not seen in the world of everyday standard 3D systems. The main focus is to create, characterize and model systems of interest such atomic and nanoscale wires, dots, and films to deduce both fundamental properties as well as tailor them towards eventual applications in industry. Facilities include molecular beam epitaxy, scanning tunneling microscopy, Auger spectroscopy, and electron diffraction contained within two separate ultra-high vacuum systems.
Investigator: Tim Kidd
Magnetic Properties of Materials
The objective of this research is to study and elucidate the electronic and magnetic behavior of novel disordered magnetic materials. Examples of such materials are diluted magnetic semiconductors and mechanically-milled rare-earth alloys. There is special interest in the spin-glass or spin-glass-like behavior that is commonly exhibited by these disordered materials. Measurement capabilities include ac susceptibility, dc magnetization, and resistivity, in the temperature range 4-300 K.
Investigator: Paul Shand
Experimental investigations focus on vibrations of musical instrument strings. The sound and vibrations laboratory houses a sound isolation chamber and equipment such as a Fourier spectrometer.
Investigator: Roger Hanson
Physics and Science Education
The physics and science education group investigates student understanding of physics concepts and related physical phenomena, and uses the insights gained to guide instruction and curriculum development. The group also provides professional development opportunities for teachers, such as the UNI PRISMS and PRISST programs. Facilities include studio physics classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art instructional technologies, video cameras for recording interviews and classroom observations, and a computer workstation for document scanning and video processing.
Investigators: Lawrence Escalada, Jeff Morgan and Roy Unruh (Professor Emeritus)
Optical Spectroscopy of Nanostructures
The research focuses on optical studies (Raman spectroscopy and optical emission) of novel nanostructures including molecular layers of organic semiconductors, atomic layers of graphene, topological insulators of reduced dimensions, and low-dimensional dichalcogenide materials. We are interested in the optical, vibrational, electronic, and electron-phonon interaction properties of these materials. Major facilities include Confocal Raman microscope system and multiple lasers.
Investigator: Rui He
Investigations focus on non-contact measurement of fluid viscosity and the elastic behavior of monolayers on water surfaces. Equipment includes a fiber-optic-based interferometer for measurements of liquid surfaces.
Investigator: Fred Behroozi
Theoretical Biophysics and Neuroscience
This research effort involves theoretical modelling of the physics of biological processes, including muscle and nerve impulses. A research effort is under way to understand how neurons operate, specifically, how their electrical impulses are generated. Current investigations focus on the kinematics and dynamics of sodium and potassium channels in the cell membranes of neurons.
Investigator: Cliff Chancey